Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Searching For The Easier Softer Way
Bible study led me to a very familiar passage found in II Kings 5 yesterday.
The story of Naaman the leper.
Powerful man: Commander of King's Army
Man of integrity: Mentioned in Scripture.
Then comes the words........"But he was a leper."
All the positives were shot down with those 5 words: But he was a leper. No matter what good he did....no matter how kind he may have been....no matter what his intentions were...Naaman was defined by those five words...."But he was a leper."
Sounds like someone who walks in addiction, doesn't it?
He's a good boy........but he is an alcoholic.
He's a smart young man isn't he? But he's an addict.
This one manifested behavior has laid hold of life, and now defines the very existence of the person who is trapped.
Naaman was determined to do something about his current condition. Trouble was that Naaman had an idea of his own how this healing should take place. In other words, he wanted to control the process, rather than accept it and follow simple instructions. He begins the journey to be healed at the suggestion of an Israeli slave girl who knows of a prophet.
Naaman makes the trip to meet this man of God, Elisha, who seems to know the skinny on how to get rid of this condition that has defined Naaman's life.
Naaman arrives. Elisha sends his messenger to the front door and gives instruction on what to do for the cure of Naaman's leprosy. Go wash yourself (or dip) seven times in the Jordan river.
Naaman is furious on many different levels. "That's it? I came all this way to hear these stupid steps on how to be clean?" Naaman had a "Furious" list and he was going to tell this so-called prophet a thing or two. Naaman's list went something like this.
(1.) I am important.
(2.) This prophet doesn't even come to meet me personally, he sends his messenger.
(3.) Whats up with this "Go to the Jordan and dip myself 7 times?"
(4.) This is not the way I want it to happen.
(5.) We've got rivers in our country that are much better than the Jordan.
This is so like people who come into recovery.
They want to be clean and sober, but they want it on their terms.
12 Steps? You've got to be kidding me? That's too simple.
There are other ways and rehabs that are so much better than this.
The addictive mind looks for the softer, easier way.
The sin driven mind looks for the softer, easier more pleasing way.
But God says, "Jordan River and 12 Steps."
Naaman eventually gave in and did what he was told.
He was healed.
Imagine that? Doing what we have been told to do. Wouldn't that be called obedience? I think so.
"You want to follow me?" Jesus said.....
"Deny yourself....Take up your cross.....and let's go."
Three simple things that will provide life and life abundant.
The human mind still screams, "That's too simple! It has to be harder than that."
I do love God......
He understands exactly how simple I am.
God on you.....